Coronavirus under microscope
Coronavirus COVID-19: Live Updates for Hallmark University
Please bookmark this page for live updates on coronavirus information.

 

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**UPDATED 6/24/2020 Changes to Student Plan to Return to Campus

As we approach the next term, we have evaluated the current standing of the COVID-19 situation in San Antonio and how to plan on ensuring high-quality classes for students, while keeping everyone safe.

We have decided to keep most classes in a virtual format for the upcoming term starting 6/29. Specific information on each school or college is below:

  • General Studies Classes: All general studies classes will take place in a virtual format, except for the Saturday Hybrid groups. The only other exception will be the General Studies classes that take place at the AV campus which will be run in a hybrid format.
  • Hallmark School of Business: All business classes that normally run on ground will run in a virtual format except for the HCG Hybrid Saturday classes, which will run on campus. The first group will meet virtually on Saturday the 27th, but the remainder of the 3 Saturday classes will take place in the classroom starting on July 18.
  • School of IT & Cybersecurity: Classes will be held virtually, but lab times will be available on campus by appointment.
  • School of Nursing: Classes will be held virtually, and students will be on campus for simulations, labs, and exams.
  • College of Aeronautics: Students will return to campus in smaller groups to allow for social distancing in the classroom and while working on projects.

To ensure that all precautions are being followed, every student will be required to wear a mask while on campus. Additionally, temperatures will be taken upon entering either campus and screening questions will need to be answered to enter. We will be exercising social distancing in the classrooms, labs, breakrooms, and any other gathering place students may be meeting. Please follow all directions and reach out to your advisor, dean, or instructor if you have any questions.

We want everyone to have a productive and successful term.  It is very important for us that you progress on your educational and career goals, while we take precautions for everyone to remain safe. We look forward to seeing everyone in class.


6/3/2020 Returning to Campus – Students

We have continued to monitor State and CDC guidelines as some areas of San Antonio have started to open once more. Our desire has been to get students back on campus  based on keeping our students and employees as safe as possible, while aligning with recommended guidelines.

Based on recent guidance and schedules, we plan on bringing students back to campus for the next term start on Monday, June 29th.

We will continue to hold health and safety as a high priority and incorporate all of the necessary protocols in doing so. We may incorporate hybrid components for some classes to ensure social distancing and other safety measures are met, and students will receive details in the coming weeks on the specifics of being back on campus.

We are excited to be able to welcome students back to the campus, and we will be sending everyone updates on a regular basis and provide additional details in regards to any changes in recommended guidance that may alter these plans.


**UPDATED 6/3/2020 Returning to the Workplace – Employees

It has been previously announced that Monday, June 15th will be the date in which employees return to the workplace. If direction included in the City Ordinance were to change, we will send further communication.

The new practices and protocols put in place will remain upon your return. Listed below are, but are not limited to, strategies that will be implemented to keep our workplace safe and to support our employees:

  • More frequent cleaning and sanitizing.
  • Relocation and/or significant changes to some employee(s) workstations to ensure we are social distancing everyone.
  • Possibility of some campus entry areas being closed to monitor traffic from employees and students.
  • Access to hand sanitizer throughout the workplace.
  • New limits on the number of people allowed to gather in a room. This includes social areas like breakrooms and copier areas. Employees will be encouraged to eat at their desk.
  • We will continue to ask the needed COVID19 screening questions upon your return.
  • Temperature checks.
  • Significant changes to our classroom and computer lab structures to protect our students.

Below are some things we expect employees to implement to help keep our workplace safe:

  • As required by City Ordinance, face coverings must be worn for all employees while in hallways, community spaces, or other coworker’s office space(s).
  • Call, email, message, or video conference as much as possible rather than meet face to face.
  • Go home if you feel sick.
  • Wash your hands often, and for the recommended 20 seconds.
  • Stay at least 6 feet apart when moving through the workplace.
  • Be considerate of your co-workers (remember, we’re all in this together).
  • Speak with your direct supervisor, or Human Resources, if you have questions or concerns.

Thank you everyone for your patience and cooperation, we are looking forward to seeing everyone once again.


4/30/2020 Virtual Librarian Sessions

The Director of Library Resources will host five virtual “Meet the Librarian” sessions for students to learn about how Hallmark’s Libraries can help with their studies and additional resources students can take advantage of. Students can join the following sessions by clicking on the WebEx link here.

    • Session 1- May 6th at 10am
    • Session 2 – May 6th at 7pm
    • Session 3 – May 7th at 10am
    • Session 4 – May 7th at 7pm
    • Session 5 – May 8th at 1pm

4/16/2020 Starting May 2020 Term in Virtual Format

As communicated previously, Hallmark University is continually monitoring the situation concerning COVID-19 and requirements by various state and local agencies.

Based on guidance we have received from the state, the May 2020 Term will begin in a virtual format for all on-ground classes. There will be no change to online classes. Students attending on-ground courses in the online format may be allowed back on campus for normal operations based on future guidance from government officials. Please continue to visit the Coronavirus Live-Updates page as we continue to monitor the situation.


4/13/2020 ATI Nursing Exams

To our students in the School of Nursing,

As you already know, your ATI proctored exam begins this week, which cannot be taken remotely at this time. It is imperative to adhere to all guidelines and rules that we have emailed you in the past week so we may continue to comply with all CDC, Texas State, and San Antonio rules concerning the Coronavirus.

Below are the guidelines to follow as you come in for your exams this week:

  1. Please do not travel to and enter the lobby at the North Campus until you scheduled time.
  2. Students must wear a face mask at all times on campus (Learn how to make your own mask with ordinary household items recommended by the CDC here).
  3. Feel free to wear gloves while visiting the campus, we will also provide gloves as students arrive.
  4. Screening for the Coronavirus begins in the lobby at the North Campus. Students are required to remain a minimum of 6 feet from others.
  5. Complete the Coronavirus questionnaire. Please understand that a “Yes” to any COVID-19 screening question will prevent you from taking the exam.
  6. We will send any student home whose temperature is more than 100.4°F or is coughing. Please contact your instructor and send medical documentation if you exhibit any temperature or respiratory symptoms.
  7. Do not use the elevator. Instead, use the stairwell and do not touch the handrailing before entering your pre-assigned classroom.
  8. Use hand-sanitizer and wash your hands with soap and water generously before and after the exam.
  9. Sit in your assigned seat which is compliant with social distancing requirements.
  10. A brief video of the classroom will be taken as evidence in compliance for the CDC and Texas Board of Nursing.

If a nursing student will not attend the ATI exam due to respiratory or other symptoms, please perform the following:

  1. All students who are currently ill or exhibit some form of symptoms need to contact their instructor as soon as possible.
  2. These students need to remain at home. Do not attempt to travel to the campus to take your ATI exam.
  3. Contact your healthcare provider and obtain documentation to show that you were ill on the date of your scheduled exam.
  4. A copy of this documentation must be emailed to your instructor or Associate Dean for the School of Nursing so that it may be added to your file.
  5. You will not be able to take the scheduled ATI exam at this time and will receive a temporary grade of “Incomplete” for the course.
  6. You will be scheduled to take the required ATI exam at a later date within 30 days of the end of Term 200228. The instructor will select the date of the rescheduled exam.
  7. Once you have taken the required ATI exam, your course grade will be changed from “Incomplete” to the correct numeric grade earned.
  8. You retain the option of taking an “Incomplete” at this time and can complete the ATI at a later date.

4/3/2020 Aviation Badges and Renewals

We have been in correspondence with Airport Security to ensure that Hallmark University is following procedure concerning AV badge holders. The changes below are currently in effect until further notice:

  • All AV badge holders who are working remotely due to COVID – 19 have had their badges temporarily suspended.
  • A badge placed on suspension does not interfere with an individual’s Security Threat Assessment or Background check.
  • While on suspension, AV badge holders will not be able to renew their badge.
  • All April expiration dates have been extended through the end of the month. As the end of the month approaches, Airport Security will re – assess the situation and extend expiration dates if needed.
  • The extension will allow the badging office to renew all expired badges without repercussions.

If an employee or student is required to come onto the Aviation Campus, please notify Sally Calvario so she may re-activate your badge in a timely manner.


4/1/2020 Facilities Update

Hallmark University has continued to take proactive measures at both campuses to ensure the safety and health for all students, faculty, and staff members.

  • We are keeping a close eye on updates from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • We have greatly reduced the number of individuals coming to campus by moving most employees to a work at home status
    • Web-ex is being used for instruction, instructor-student interaction, new student interviews, and financial aid packaging
  • Facilities continues to wipe down the building in the morning with disinfectant and bleach, and continue with their regular cleaning activities
  • Hand sanitizer units have been installed in all classrooms and common rooms such as the faculty workroom and canteen areas.  Other areas, such as the front desk, have hand sanitizer bottles.
  • IR thermometers should arrive today or tomorrow and all visitors will be assessed for a fever when entering the building. One will be assigned to the North Campus and another to the Aviation Campus.
  • We have limited access to the I-10 location by locking the backdoors and requiring students and visitors to sign in at the front desk.
  • The Nanoseptic strips have arrived and are being installed today.  This includes the crash bars, elevator buttons, pads on swinging doors, and door handles.
  • The electrostatic mist spraying conducted at both campuses a few weeks ago is good through April.

Please keep in mind the following key preventative actions:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick (within 6 feet)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid handshaking
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Contact a health care provider if exhibiting symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Please continue to check in regularly for Hallmark University’s updates regarding the Coronavirus.


3/27/2020 Classes to Remain Virtual for Remainder of Term

Hallmark University is monitoring the COVID 19 situation daily and seeks to incorporate the right safety measures while still being able to provide a quality classroom experience.  We recently moved our on-ground classes to a virtual format which allows students to attend classes remotely and still have access to real time lessons and their instructors.

The Leadership team has decided to continue with virtual classes through the rest of the term, with the possible exceptions for the lab portions in Aeronautics and Nursing. We are looking at options for students to complete their projects later in the term in the College of Aeronautics, and the School of Nursing is looking into options for completing ATI exams. When decisions regarding these areas have been made, they will be shared with students.

Decisions will be made toward the end of this term in regard to classes being virtual during the May term, and we will share the final decision prior to the end of the present term.

We appreciate our student’s patience, perseverance, and flexibility during this challenging time and their commitment to successfully completing their academic programs. If you need anything, please contact your academic advisor or dean.


3/20/2020 Classes to Remain Virtual through April 3rd

After assessing the information provided by the CDC, WHO, local and federal officials, Hallmark University’s classes will continue to operate in a virtual format until at least April 3rd.  We will evaluate the situation at that time and make a decision whether to continue to operating virtually or if courses can return to their normal status. Please continue checking Hallmark University’s communication channels for future updates and relevant information.


3/20/2020 Online Guidelines for BSN Students

The following information is a guideline for students in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program as we continue to operate in an online format:

Lectures:

  1. Will continue to be held online via WebEx Meeting Rooms
    • Online lectures start promptly at the designated time which is the same as scheduled on-campus time
    • Please log in on time and stay for the entire lecture to receive full attendance for that day
  2. Access the instructor’s WebEx Meeting Room at the designated lecture time(s)
    • Access via Blackboard Syllabus a WebEx link
  3. Missing lectures will be detrimental for both course exams and the ATI Exam, which is worth 30% of your overall course grade.
    • Please remember that missing 20% of a course will mean an automatic failure for that course.
  4. If you cannot attend and know this ahead of time, you must notify your instructor as soon as possible.
    • If you did not attend and did not notify the instructor ahead of time, please contact the instructor as soon as you can to let them know that you did not attend and why.
    • If you are late, please attempt to log in to the WebEx session and see if the lecture is ongoing. Some attendance is better than no attendance.

Drug Cards:

  1. It must be handwritten!
  2. If you do not have printed templates left, go ahead and write out the template headings on a piece of paper and complete the drug card
  3. Scan or photograph the completed drug card and upload to Blackboard by the due date
    • Photographs must be easy to read (size, minimal shadows, etc.) and clear.

Quizzes

  1. Quizzes will be given weekly online
    • The instructor will provide you with the date and time that the quiz will be available ahead of time
    • The instructor will give you the quiz password ahead of time
    • Please watch Course Announcements and your HU student email account for this info
  2. Quizzes are time-sensitive.
    • All quizzes must be accessed at the same time by all students
    • All quizzes have a set time from start to finish and time cannot be extended
    • If you miss the quiz time, you will not be able to make up the quiz

Examinations

  1. Course examinations will be given online starting next week
    • Students will be given notice ahead of time for when the exam will be administered.
    • However, students should be preparing every day to take the exam.
    • Do not wait until you are notified of the exam date/time to start studying!
  2. Please watch Course Announcements and your HU student email account for this info
  3. Examinations will be administered on a secured link shared by Hallmark University.

Clinical/Sims/Lab

  1. Clinical/Sims/Lab will continue to be online and virtual
  2. Alternative assignments online (VSims, ATI, etc.) or on paper (case studies) have been designed to substitute for on-campus/at facility site clinical time.
    • This means you will be given an equivalent number of assignments to substitute for the clinical hours you would have participated in on-campus/at a facility.
  3. Please watch Course Announcements and your HU student email account for this info from your instructor
  4. You are expected to complete and upload your clinical assignments the same day as regularly scheduled clinical.
    • You must complete and upload your clinical/sims/lab assignments on the designated due date and time in order to earn BOTH attendance and a grade.
    • If you do not upload a completed assignment by the given deadline, you will be given a zero for attendance and a zero for a grade.
  5. BSN Student Handbook policies are still in effect for attendance and clinical; there have been no changes.
  6. Certain skills cannot be duplicated online or virtual; Your instructors have identified those skills. We will teach you all those skills when it is safe to come to campus.

ATI Proctor Examination

  • If your course includes ATI final examination, it will be done on campus. There is no provision at this time to do ATI remotely.
  • Your instructor will inform you of the dates and times of the ATI proctor examinations.
  • Your instructor will open the ATI practice tests for you.

Dosage Calculation

  • All dosage calculations examination is postponed till you can come to the campus physically.

Help

  • If you have any questions about your assignments, please contact your instructor as soon as possible.
  • If you have a problem that will affect your ability to complete and/or upload your assignments on time, please notify your instructor as soon as possible.
  • If you have difficulty with Blackboard or WebEx Meeting, contact Hallmark University IT Department  IT Helpdesk:

Phone: 210.969.7521

Email: helpdesk@hallmarkuniversity.edu

  • If you are having difficulty logging on to VSims, you must contact Lippincott: 1-800-468-1128
  • If you are having trouble logging on to ATI, you must contact them: 1(800) 667-7531

3/18/2020 AERONAUTICS COURSES MOVING ONLINE EFFECTIVE MARCH 18TH

All courses taught on-ground at the Aviation Campus are moving to an online format; there will be no physical courses taught at the Aviation Campus beginning March 18th. We will inform students when classes will resume normal operations through our normal channels of communication.


3/17/2020 – SPRING GRADUATION CANCELLED

Due to the COVID – 19 guidance for travel and holding large gatherings, Hallmark University has made the difficult decision to cancel the May 16th graduation event. At this time there is no plan to reschedule the spring ceremony and all students will be given the opportunity and encouraged to walk in November. For those students graduating in the interim, they will receive their diplomas and transcripts within the normal timeframe. Please know that none of the decisions being made as a result of COVID – 19 are made lightly, and always with the intent of minimizing risks to our students, faculty, and staff while maximizing our ability to continue providing excellent service to these stakeholders.


3/16/2020 – The School of Nursing Information Guide and Ask A Librarian Tool

Faculty within the Martha Fessler School of Nursing created a General Information and Preparation Guide for the Coronavirus. Please click here to learn more about the origins, transmission factors, symptoms, and methods of treatment for the virus.

A chat service is now live for students to get in touch with the Director of Library Resources when they have questions. If the chat service is offline, please submit your question to the chat box. Any questions submitted will be answered as soon as possible, with a response sent directly to student’s Hallmark email. Visit the Ask A Librarian tool here


3/13/2020 – The School of Nursing Moving Online, Learning Resource Center Hours, Attending Classes through WebEx

All courses taught on-ground in the School of Nursing are moving into an online format; there will be no physical courses taught at the North Campus beginning March 16th.

The Learning Resource Center at the North Campus will be open Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 6 PM. This will allow students access to computers and get support from tutoring services if needed. Please refer to a previous update to learn about the additional measures Hallmark is taking in response to the Coronavirus.

Students who have had their classes moved to an online format due to the Coronavirus will still meet during the regularly scheduled on-ground class times. Students must join the class via WebEx during the normally scheduled on-ground time to be counted present during attendance. Students can access the online meetings in the following ways:

Joining from Blackboard on a PC
  1. Log into Blackboard and go to the course page.
  2. On the left-side menu, click Syllabus.
  3. Click on the WebEx Meeting link.
  4. You will be taken to the WebEx site. Run the file that is downloaded to start the WebEx meetings app.
  5. You will be presented with a screen to make sure your video and audio settings are setup correctly. Once you are ready, click Join Meeting.
  6. If the meeting had not started yet, you will get a notification indicating so. At this point, please wait until the meeting is started by your instructor.
Joining from the Blackboard Mobile App
  1. Log into the Blackboard App and go to the course page.
  2. On the left-side menu, click Syllabus.
  3. Click on the WebEx Meeting link.
  4. You will be taken to the WebEx meeting. Note: If you do not have the Cisco WebEx Meetings app installed, you will be taken to you device’s app store to download it. If you have the app installed, tap on Join via installed app.
  5. You will be presented with a screen to make sure your video and audio are setup correctly. Once you are ready, tap Join Meeting.
  6. If the meeting has not started yet, you will get a notification indicating so. At this point, please wait until the meeting is started by your instructor.

3/12/2020 – Business, IT, and General Education Courses Moving Online Effective March 16th

Hallmark University is moving all School of IT, Business, and GenEd classes to a virtual format effective March 16, 2020 due to the global Coronavirus situation. This is a short term process and will be evaluated weekly to determine if Hallmark needs to remain virtual or if we can move back to local classes. Your faculty have been notified and there are a few things to understand regarding the students that were local and who are going to move to a virtual format.

  1. There will be synchronous classes set up by the faculty for the times that were scheduled for local classes. The example is if you were required to be in class for the T-8 schedule or Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 8:00 AM, this is when the virtual classes will be given and students will need to log into these synchronous classes for attendance.
  2. The assignments remain the same with the same due dates. Local students moving to a virtual format will not be required to do the discussion questions – Just attend the virtual session for attendance.

To reiterate, there will be zero ground classes at Hallmark University for the School of Business, IT, and GenEd courses beginning March 16, 2020. This will be reevaluated on a weekly basis.

*For those in the AV and Nursing programs, please stay tuned for further information.

If you have additional questions, please contact your academic advisor, dean, or faculty member.


3/11/2020 – Precautionary Actions Taken by Hallmark

We are keeping a close eye on updates from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO).  At this time Hallmark will continue normal operations until further notice. Campus offices and services will also remain open during regular business hours.  There are no known cases within the Hallmark University community, and Hallmark has a different risk profile from residential universities.  However, the university is taking this issue very seriously and making every effort to ensure your safety and keep you on track academically.  We have developed academic contingency plans and will enact them if and when they become necessary.  If anything changes we will issue notifications on:

Current steps being taken by the university:

  • The facilities team has stepped up the frequency of cleaning of common areas such as the Canteen locations and wiping down door handles and knobs.
  • The evening cleaning crews are using disinfectants on desks and tables as well as keyboards/computers in offices and classrooms
  • We have ordered more hand sanitizer and are in the process of locating auto dispensers for hand sanitizer, which will be placed at both campuses when they arrive.
  • We are in the process of ordering NanoSeptic strips for doors and they will be placed on door handles, crash bars, elevator buttons, and push pads placed on swinging doors such as the bathroom doors on the main campus. These will be installed as soon as they arrive.
      • Nanoseptic strips – surfaces when exposed to light break down contaminants via mineral nanocrystals. An oxidation reaction cleans stronger than bleach, according to the company. These surfaces are entirely safe to the touch and self-cleaning. 
  • We will be spraying an electrostatic mist at both campuses tonight to ensure we are hitting all surfaces and hard to reach locations as an additional step in addition to the regular cleaning.

If you are interested in learning more, Imperial College London debuted a free class on the online learning platform Coursera, titled “Science Matters: Let’s Talk About COVID-19.”   https://www.coursera.org/learn/covid-19

Please keep in mind these key prevention actions:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick (within 6 feet)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid handshaking
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Contact a health care provider if exhibiting symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Posted 3/6/2020

Please do not panic because of coronavirus; there are prevention steps you can take right now. Following the simple steps below may prevent you and your loved ones from this virus. There is no need for alarm.

Current understanding about how the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses.

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
  • Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

When does spread happen?

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How efficiently does the virus spread?

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so. Another factor is whether the spread continues over multiple generations of people (if spread is sustained). The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the Hubei province and other parts of China. In the United States, spread from person-to-person has occurred only among a few close contacts and has not spread any further to date.

Prevention

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

Wash your hands often frequently with soap and water.

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Dr. Gabriel Oluwakotanmi, Dean for the School of Nursing

Source: CDC

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